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Tips and Tricks: Oil Database Tool

Angela Solano, Herbert Loria - VMG Calgary

Introduction

The Oil Database Tool stores information relating to oils that can be accessed, manipulated and updated by the Oil Characterization environment and the Oil Source unit operation. The information from this database is used to characterize assays with laboratory experiments and install assay pseudo components that can be used to model refineries and other related processes.

The pre-packaged oil database in VMGSim currently consists of 449 assays from the Environmental Science and Technology Centre, a department of Environment Canada [1]. Each assay consists of various physical properties such as distillation, density and viscosity curves. In addition to these assays, a user can build databases with their own defined assays.

Oil Characterization Environment

Inside the Oil Characterization environment, the Oil Database can be accessed once an Oil has been created; then, two buttons will appear below the Active Assay frame: Load from DB to import an assay from a database, and Save to DB that will allow exporting already created assays to a database.

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Loading an Assay from Database

To load an assay from a specific database, click in the Load from DB button to bring up the Oil Database browser:

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In this browser window, the active database assays can be selected and their experimental curves, properties and general data can be inspected. In the Assay Filters frame one can select the desired database using a drop down menu.

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This Ready To Cut Assays Only toggle enables a filter to hide assays that are not ready to be cut right away once they are imported. An assay can be cut when the minimal amount of information is available for the assay and all this data is valid. For example if a database assay is missing a distillation curve or the distillation curve does not have at least 5 points then; the assay cannot be characterized.

The Select Assay frame contains the assay collection available in the active database. Here the Assay NameLiquid Density @ 60 F and Molecular Weight (if available) can be inspected.

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This Assay Data Preview frame shows the experimental curves and general data available for the selected assay.

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Once a database assay is selected, clicking on the Load Assay button will import the selected assay to create a new Assay inside the Oil Characterization environment using the information from the database.

Save an Assay to Database

Once an assay has been created in the Oil Characterization environment, it can be added to a User defined Oil Database; to do this, click in the Save to DB button to bring up the Oil Database manager.

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Here the Assay can be added to the User DB and it can be saved with the desired name. Once this is done, all the assay information will be available in the Assay collection of the User DB, including distillation and experimental curves, bulk values and light ends compositions.

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Oil Source

The Oil Database can be accessed through the Oil Source unit operation by means of the two buttons at the top right: Load from DB to import information to an Oil Source from a database, and Save to DB that will allow exporting Oil Source information to a database.

Loading an Assay from Database

To load an assay from a specific database, click in the Load from DB button to bring up the Oil Database browser which contains the same features as explained in the previous paragraphs.

Once a database assay is selected, clicking on the Load Assay button will import the selected assay to the active unit operation using the information form the database.

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Save an Assay to Database

Once an Oil Source has been created, its information can be added to a User defined Oil Database, to do this click in the Save to DB button to bring up the Oil Database manager. Here the Oil Source information can be added to the User DB and it can be saved with the desired name.

Once this is done, all the information will be available in the Assay collection of the User DB, including distillation and experimental curves, bulk experimental values, PIONA compositions, Cn Compositional Analysis and the regressed parameters used in the Oil Source.

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Environment Canada [1] Database

As mentioned before VMGSim contains a pre-packaged oil database based on the information of the Environmental Technology Centre from Environment Canada [1]. The database contains information for 449 oils from around the world. Most of these oils contain distillation, density and viscosity curves as well as bulk liquid density at 60 F.

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References

[1] Environmental Technology Centre (2014). Retrieved February 12, 2014 from http://www.etc-cte.ec.gc.ca/databases/OilProperties/Default.aspx

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